December heavy truck orders jump 50 percent

Jason Cannon

January 6, 2014

December North American Classes 5-7 net orders are expected at 14,200 units, and Class 8 net orders are expected at 31,800 units when actual data are released mid-month, according to ACT Research.

“This is the time of the year when the large fleets and leasing companies are in the market and large Class 8 order volumes are most likely,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Sr. Analyst. “As such, an above trend number was expected.”

December Class 8 orders were up 50 percent month-over-month and year-over-year. December’s Classes 5-7 orders pulled back, following several strong order months.

“However, Q4 Classes 5-7 orders of 51,800 represent the best quarterly intake since Q1’08,” Vieth added.

FTR released its preliminary data Monday, which closely mirrored that of ACT.

FTR shows December Class 8 truck net orders surged to 31,506 units – still a 50 percent gain from the previous month, and the first month orders have been above 30,000 since April 2011.

2013 is the highest December total in eight years with a 51 percent year-over-year improvement, FTR notes. December order activity boosted the annualized rate for the past six-month period to 269,000 units.

“Orders were exceptionally strong in December. Order activity was well balanced across sectors and manufacturers,” says Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “The strong showing puts OEM’s on track to meet first quarter targets and provides momentum headed into the second quarter. Fleets and dealers are showing more optimism. This is a very welcome sign and good news for the industry. One thing to note is that when you look at orders over the last two months, it shows an average of 26,200 units and is exactly in line with what our expectations were for orders just a few months ago.”

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